Takuma Asano played just over 70 minutes in VfB Stuttgart’s 2-1 home win over 1860 Munich on Friday afternoon.
The victory pushes them into the promotion play-off place in third, with 19 points from a possible 30 after ten matches in the 2. Bundesliga this term.
Asano, deployed on the left wing, wasn’t heavily involved in the action from the offset. Both of Stuttgart’s first-half goals were assists for Carlos Mané, who played on the opposite flank and saw far more of the ball in the final third compared to the Arsenal man.
It was a case of patience for the Japanese international, as the 21-year-old saw both limited time and opportunities to get the ball himself.
The one half-chance that Asano did have was from a second-half set-piece. Having failed to skip past his man, the hosts won a free-kick shortly afterwards and Simon Terrodde knocked the ball down into Asano’s path. Although the opportunity was at an awkward angle, the forward should’ve done better and at least hit the target, instead firing his effort over the crossbar.
After a positional switch onto the right, Alexandru Maxim replaced him in the 71st minute.
Asano would’ve been satisfied to start the game but equally disappointed that he wasn’t given an opportunity to finish it, either.
It’s a recurring theme for the 21-year-old and although his performance was an average one, he’ll be hoping that manager Hannes Wolf has spotted something that’ll ensure he retains his starting spot in the weeks to come.